I’ve Known Us Before
The Recognition of Souls
I have quicksilver memories that do not fit. Moments from lifetimes that roll away from me like marbles across my kitchen floor. A perfect flash of the impossible when you frown at me — braced for a fight that does not come. Surely, the sword blade falling was just a trick of the light, and the strange fear that they’ve found us again is naught but fanciful imaginings.
Yet my soul whispers, I’ve known us before.
What cannot be possible often intrudes when you laugh and your spirit is light. A fanciful notion of servants and dark corridors invades my vision. Your hand lifts my skirts and a sphere of stolen rendezvous and sweet secrets rolls past to disappear under the sofa. But the day is sunny. The cat has claimed the coffee table — and we know nothing of castles.
It has always been me you’ve sought, my soul insists.
Tonight, I lie beside you and listen while you speak of the future. Such a trivial thing to set the marbles rolling across the floor, but I sense that we have done this before — in the heather, my head resting on your chest while you plan. You’ve always been the one to stand between us and the dangers of the world. That comforting idea lingers beneath my pillow even after you rise to put the house to bed.
It has been eternally thus, my soul replies as it weaves dreams of lives long-ago lived.
At breakfast, you bring coffee. Before you can turn away, I tell you all that I know of what had gone before — of Romans and of runaways, of castles and heathered hills. You listen patiently; say nothing in reply. And at that moment, I realize you’ve never felt them as I do or caught the flash of their ghostly glow. The quicksilver memories are hidden from you. So many lifetimes forgot — such richness lost.
I alone keep the memory of us. In your silence, my soul weeps.
© Tarrant Smith 2019